PRODUCT: The E12 from Gas Gas is an entry-level all-electric motorcycle featuring 12-inch wheels with tube-type tires, a chromoly frame, disc brakes, hydraulic suspension and a motor with two different output settings (600 and up to 1500 watts). The motor is powered by a fixed LiNiCoMn rechargeable battery. It’s available in two different color options—red or grey.
POSITIVES: There is nothing intimidating about the E12 to new riders or parents who might not be well-versed in riding motorcycles. The charging process is straightforward and easy and can only be done one way, so there is no worry about shorting out the battery, which has a built-in shut-off to prevent overcharging. Two different speed settings allow the rider to choose from 50 percent and 100 percent power. A handlebar-mounted display next to the throttle shows battery life. Front and rear suspension works very well for a wide range of riders.
Both the fork and shock are sealed units without any adjustment capabilities and held up to hours of abuse without any issues. Tires are Maxxis 12-inch models that you would find on 50cc race machines using standard tubes, and the spoked wheels are heavy duty and handle anything our test rider threw at them.
The E12 uses cable-actuated disc brakes with smaller levers, making it easy for younger riders to use. This system is similar to what is used on popular mountain bikes and work great. We like the multiple on/off switches for safety reason. Having a key allows the E12 to be shut down completely when it’s not supposed to be used, so there is no chance of someone getting injured by accident.
We were definitely surprised how much power the E12 has at 100 percent. It’s enough for an advanced rider without being too much for a less experienced rider, and the 50 percent helps build beginning riders’ confidence up so they can graduate to the more powerful setting safely.
NEGATIVES: To fully charge the E12 from a normal 110-amp wall outlet, it takes four to five hours, and the average rider will go through that charge in about an hour depending on the type of terrain. With the current system, you can’t just throw in a new battery and go; it’s a four-hour waiting period before it’s fully charged again. This does not go over well with young kids! The bars are a little too high of a bend for most test riders, and the charging port is right under the front fender, making it easy to clog with dirt.
BOTTOM LINE: The Gas Gas E12 is a great tool for kids learning how to ride. There is nothing too intimidating for a new rider, so they can focus on having fun and learning the basics. The E12 can be used just about anywhere and charged from a wall outlet or even a car 12-volt accessory outlet. A full charge will take a few hours, and the advanced riders can go through that charge in about 35 to 45 minutes. Overall, our test machine has had many different skill levels and ages of riders on it, and they have all come away with a positive experience and want to ride more. We like the bike and would welcome more manufacturers to develop these types of models for the younger generation to make the step into off-road riding easier.
PRICE: $1700–$1900 (including charger) CONTACT: www.gasgas.com